Sakura had just finished sewing the corset for the doll when Syaoran walked in. She looked up and smiled, running to him and hugging him. He returned her hug and he felt saddened that he had to ruin her good mood. She pulled back and looked into her husband's eyes, seeing that he was unhappy.
"What's wrong?" she asked quickly, her smile fading.
"I need you to come and sit down with me in the lounge." He said softly.
Sakura felt her stomach make an unpleasant flip. "Ok, sure." She replied, and they walked to the lounge together in silence. He sat her down in front of the fire and held her hands in his.
"I need you to listen; this isn't easy for me, but I can't hide it from you either." He said, and she began to worry even more.
"Syaoron and Rena are missing." He said, pain clearly showing through his voice. Sakura felt her body go numb. "Everyone is investigating and searching for them, but we found blood staining your sister's bed."
She came to rest her head on his chest, too shocked to say anything. She knew they wouldn't kill Rena as long as she was alive, but that didn't make it any easier. Syaoran held her tight, afraid of how she could react. Would she have another one of her panic attacks? Or worse; would this be the final way of getting her to crack?
Sakura took in a deep breath and released it carefully. She couldn't lose it now, not when Rena needed her most. "Have you tried tracking their aura?" she asked.
He blinked with surprise. "No, we haven't." He hadn't even thought of it.
"I'll see if I can find Rena's location. If we're lucky, they won't be using the sealing chains on their magic…" Sakura said.
"They're special types of chains that stop the user from being able to utilise their magic. There are two types; type one seals off all magical signature to the outside world, rendering them completely helpless. Type two only stops you from being able to use your magic, so you can still feel aura's around you, and vice versa. They're also more common that type one, which are fairly rare to find and expensive." Sakura explained.
He stayed silent, not asking if such chains had been placed on her before. He already knew the answer. He felt her relax against him as she searched for her sister. It was going to take time, and for Sakura such a task was physically exhausting. It didn't used to be this way, but due to the long days of abuse, her magic took more of a toll on her. A few minutes passed, and then another few.
"South East…" Sakura whispered, exhausted from her search. "She's getting weaker."
"Thank you; just rest." He said softly as she fell asleep. He laid her to rest on the couch before leaving to go and speak with the council about Sakura's findings.
Rena woke again a few hours later feeling a lot better, but she knew what was coming now that her wounds had been tended to. Aryanna liked to make sure her victims were healthy before inflicting pain on them. She looked over to see her fiancé still in chains, but with a closer look she realised he had a deep cut along his jaw and had been beaten pretty badly. "Syaoron?" she called out, worried and frightened.
"I'm fine." He replied, "just a few broken bones." He half laughed.
"How can you laugh about that, you idiot!" she cried.
"I'm sorry," he said, "I can't help you…"
"That's ok," she whispered, tears falling down her cheeks, "Your brother and Sakura will send help, I'm sure of it…"
She looked to the door as it opened, revealing a man in his mid-twenties. Rena immediately recognised him as one of the men who had assaulted her when she had last been held captive. A look of fury immediately registered on her face, and he smiled.
"Hello Princess; I haven't seen you in a while." He said. "And this time we have your fiancé as well. Whatever will you do?"
"Leon…" she hissed, her voice shaking with anger. He laughed. "If you dare hurt him, I'll fucking kill you!" She shouted.
He laughed, "And how would you do that? You can't even use your magic." He said as he tightened her chains, pulling on them until her arms were raised above her head. She cried out in pain as they were further tightened, pulling on her arms and the muscles. Syaoron grit his teeth in anger as he heard her scream but he couldn't do anything to help her.
"Syaoron please, don't watch this…" she begged as her assailant tore her dress with a knife.
Shocked, he looked to her only to see her legs forced around Leon's hips; she screamed as he assaulted her and he looked away, shutting his eyes against her agony. He felt hot tears crawling down his face as she screamed and whimpered. He didn't care what they did to him, but hurting Rena was something else entirely-it was agony. It felt like hours in which they were both mentally and physically tortured. Both were left bleeding in their cold dark cell; Rena was out cold, and Syaoron was just barely conscious. It must have been the middle of the night by now. He didn't know how much longer he could hold out.
Another group came in a couple of hours later; they poured cold water over Rena's head to wake her, and when she did wake she was subjected to torture again. She was burned down her back and he just couldn't stand being unable to help Rena; through the rage he felt he was able to destroy the chains around his wrists, alarming the two who were inflicting Rena's pain. Though he attracted the attention of the guards outside, he was still able to release and cast a powerful spell to annihilate the two hurting Rena before he was chained again. He fought them, but it was no use; he'd lost blood and had several broken bones. That mixed with having used a powerful spell caused him to pass out. The last thing he heard was Rena screaming out to him, fearing for his life.
Aryanna looked up as Leon entered the throne room, and she smiled. She was surrounded by her plush velvet cushions again, and she wore a black dress with blue flames decorating the bottom of the skirt and the long open ended sleeves. She had decided to leave her hair out, and around her neck was a choker with sapphires decorating it. "Hello Leon," she greeted as he walked up the stairs to her side, "How are our guests?"
"The prince just broke free of his restraints and killed two of our men, and I'm positive that Princess Rena is nearly broken." He replied.
She smiled, "The young Queen and her husband must already by out searching by now. Let's see how things go."
"What are you thinking of doing?" Leon asked.
"I think I might pay our tortured couple a little visit." Aryanna smiled.
"Which couple?" Leon laughed.
"I doubt Syaoran would have let Sakura accompany him on the search, so I'm talking about Rena and her fiancé." She said sweetly as she walked down the stairs
Leon sighed and followed her. "As you wish, My Queen."
Rena didn't look up as she heard the door open. She had no energy in her to fight back, and Syaoron was unconscious. "Oh dear," she heard the familiar voice of Aryanna speak, "You are a sorry sight." Aryanna walked over to the prince lifted his chin with her hand. She examined his face, turning it from one side to the other and then looked over at Rena. "However did you find such a catch?" she asked, standing up and walking over to the battered young princess.
Rena glared at her, but said nothing. Aryanna slapped her hard across the face and her vision was dotted with black spots. "I told you," Aryanna hissed, "You'll never be safe from me."
Her face stung and tears rolled down her cheeks. "Why are you doing this to us…?" she whispered.
Aryanna grabbed Rena's throat, cutting off her air supply. "Be careful, you'll kill her." Leon said as he leant back against the cold wall. "Don't worry, she can't die yet. If she dies, we won't get Sakura's power." Aryanna said.
Rena didn't understand-why did they need her so badly? Once her throat was released, she gasped for air. "Tell me…" she said weakly.
Aryanna smiled, "Do you really want to know?" she giggled as she walked back over to Syaoron, placing her hand against his cheek. "Sakura's magic is unique, as her heart is pure and untainted; she's so kind and loving it almost sickens me, to be honest. But, thanks to her pure heart, she harnesses the most powerful magic on this planet. Have you ever wondered why her wounds healed faster than normal?" The Queen asked.
Rena remembered when they were little, and Sakura had cut herself. It was a deep cut, and should have taken days to heal, but she had witnessed the wound heal in only a matter of seconds. That was the only time she'd ever seen it though; she remembered something about Sakura mentioning that she had to seal part of her magic away because of how dangerous it was.
"Your sister holds the lost power of Spirit, my dear." Aryanna sighed.
Rena smiled, "And what's that got to do with me?" she laughed.
"Oh, it has everything to do with you sweet heart." Aryanna said, and then stood to leave. "Torture her if you feel like it-I don't care."
Leon smiled and Rena suddenly felt fear. None of the information that she had been given by Aryanna was new to her-she knew what sort of magic her sister had, but why did it concern her?
Sakura sat in front of the fire staring into the flames; she was worried about her sister and brother-in-law, and Syaoran was out guiding the search. It was late, almost one in the morning. "Sakura? Why are you still awake?" Chii asked as she walked in.
Sakura looked up and then back into the fire. "I don't think I'll be able to sleep until they're all home safely…" Sakura whispered.
Chii sat down beside her, holding her hands up to the warmth of the flames. "I'll keep you company until they get back." She said softly.
"Rena's life is fading…I can feel it…" she whispered.
"It'll be ok. I'm sure of it." Chii said firmly.
Sakura buried her face in her knees and hoped that what Chii said was right.
Syaoron roused with several loud explosions going off nearby. Rena was out cold again with several more injuries to her body, and she was bleeding from her mouth. He was only conscious for a few minutes, but he was conscious long enough to be able to sense his brother's aura. Relief washed over him and the door came smashing down, broken from its hinges to reveal several royal guards.
"We found them!" One of them shouted before heading in to rid them of their chains.
Yuui rushed in behind them and checked their wounds to find that they needed urgent attention. "Get them out of here!" He ordered the men.
A pair of guards tended to the prince, while Yuui covered Rena with a blanket he had brought with him and gently picked her up, carrying her out and up to the surface where Syaoran was waiting on his horse. He watched as Yuui tended to his brother and Rena in the fresh air, and could help but feel slightly irritated. "This was too easy." He said.
Fai looked up at him from the ground, confused. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that Aryanna wanted them found." Syaoran growled, gripping the reins tightly in his fists.
Fai looked back at the two who were now being carefully lifted onto the back of horses; both were still unconscious. Yuui walked over looking really unhappy as he wiped the blood from his hands with a cloth.
"What's their state?" Syaoran asked.
"Both have been tortured; Rena's been raped and severely burned down her back. She's got a few broken bones, but not as many as Syaoron. It's going to take time for them to heal, and Rena's mind may be more chaotic now." Yuui replied.
"Get them back home. We're leaving. I want someone to alert the local investigation unit of this place." Syaoran ordered.
"Understood." Fai answered.
It was early morning, still dark, but the time everyone finally returned to the castle. Sakura was waiting, and she watched as her unconscious sister was carried in, wrapped in a thick blanket. She looked pale, and Sakura could feel that she was only just hanging on. Syaoran walked up beside her and she turned to him; he looked exhausted due to the long day of searching. She watched as his brother was carried in behind her sister, also noticing that he was just hanging on. She looked to Syaoran who had a look of anguish on his face-could he sense it too?
"Yuui says that she should be ok." He said, knowing what she was about to ask.
"And your brother?" she asked.
"I'm not too sure…" he replied quietly.
She wrapped his arms around his neck and he returned her embrace; they stood holding each other for a long time, and Syaoran finally parted. "We should get some rest; there's going to be a council meeting in the morning and I want you to be there." He said softly.
"Alright…" she whispered.
Syaoran turned to one of the guards, "Tell Yuui that I want to be informed when they wake." Syaoran said.
"Yes your majesty." They replied, bowing and then leaving to carry out their orders.
Syaoran took Sakura's hand and led her from the hall to their bedroom that they now shared. While it was Syaoran's room, Sakura's things had been moved in, in a sense. She changed into one of her sleeping gowns and slipped in beside Syaoran, resting in his arms. He fell asleep quickly, but it took her much longer. When she did fall asleep, she didn't dream.
Rena woke with a splitting headache and a really sore body in the morning. She felt her stomach cramp severely and she rolled over, vomiting over the edge of the bed.
"Thanks, I appreciate the mess."
She looked up, recognising the most annoying person she knew. Yuui was cleaning some tools, one of which she recognised to be a scalpel and another a pair of surgical scissors. Sitting on the tray was a bloody rag.
"What happened…?" she rasped.
"Don't try to talk just yet; you were tortured rather brutally. I spent the night healing your wounds with magic. You're going to need to take it easy; those broken bones of yours will take time to heal." He said.
Suddenly everything came crashing back down on her, and she sobbed. "I'm going to keep you and Syaoron in the hospital ward so I can keep a close eye on you. Don't try anything stupid, like running away." Yuui said dully as he picked up the tray.
Rena swallowed hard. "Wait!" she managed to get out before he reached the door. He turned around to face her. He looked so drained of energy-she'd never seen him like that before. "Where is he…?" She whispered.
He nodded to the bed beside her and she looked over to see that Syaoron was still unconscious. "He's heavily sedated. He won't wake up for a while yet." Yuui said, and then left.
Sakura sat beside Syaoran in the council hall; they were discussing the events of the kidnapping and where they were found. She was there to provide insight into the enemy's motives, and what they might be looking to accomplish.
"Why hold them captive somewhere within our borders? I don't get it." The head of the royal guard spoke. His name was Jose and would have been in his late forties. Jose was a tall, heavily muscled man and easily lost his temper when it came to any one of the royals being harmed; he was loyal to the royal family and the country, and would die protecting them.
"I believe that Queen Aryanna is trying to send us…or me in particular, a message." Sakura answered.
"And what kind of message would that be?" Kurogane asked.
"That Rena and I won't ever be safe, no matter where we are or who we're promised to." Sakura replied. "She can still find us, and she can still torture us."
"So what exactly does she want from you?" Fai asked.
"The Scarlet Organisation kidnaps and tortures in particular the magic users who harness and extraordinary or rare power. Once their target has completely broken both mentally and physically, they take that magic and then leave their victims to die a painful death. I assure you, if I were to leave, there would be no point. They'd come after Syaoran." Sakura explained.
"We don't want you to leave." Syaoran said, kissing her hand.
"So what sort of power do you possess that they're after?" Anne asked.
Sakura bit her lip and Syaoran squeezed her hand. "Please, I need you to tell us." He said.
A tear crawled down her cheek, "It's called Spirit." She whispered.
Whispers broke out around the table and Syaoran fell silent. He never knew that she harnessed such a power.
"There was a seal placed on it when I was young, because it was growing out of control. If it's in the wrong hands it can destroy the entire world." She said quietly.
"That won't happen." Syaoran said.
"So basically this is war?" Kurogane asked.
"It may as well be." Syaoran said. "But I wouldn't quite go that far. Let's wait for a little bit and see if they do anything more. For now we need to focus on Rena and Syaoron."
"What do you want us to do?" Fai asked.
"Find out as much Intel as you can on the organisation and their movements." Syaoran ordered. "I don't want any of the citizens alarmed, so don't say anything." He said.
"Fine." Kurogane said.
Syaoran looked up as Yuui entered. The blonde walked over and nodded to the young queen before speaking to Syaoran. "Princess Rena has woken up; I'm keeping her and your brother in the hospital ward for a while. I don't think either of them will be stable after what they've been through, so I'm going to run some tests." He said.
"Thank you Yuui. You should get some rest before you collapse." Syaoran said.
"Appreciated. Call if you need anything." Yuui said and then left.
Syaoran sighed, "You're all dismissed."
Everyone stood and left, and Syaoran turned to Sakura. "Do you want to go visit your sister?" he asked.
She shook her head, "Before I visit her I want to finish something first. I'll be in my studio."
He smiled, "Alright. I'm going to go see them for a while." He said.
She nodded and he leant in to kiss her softly. He parted and then turned, heading off to go see Rena and his brother.
The hospital wing wasn't too large nor too small; occasionally they would take care of some chronically ill patients from the city, but thankfully it didn't happen often. It was mostly used during war, when soldiers fell on the battlefield or citizens were injured. Luckily that didn't happen often either.
Rena was propped up against some pillows, watchful of her surroundings and those in the room. She sensed his approach and looked over, acknowledging him.
"How are you feeling, Rena?" He asked, sitting down in one of the chairs.
"I feel like my head is going to explode." She replied.
Syaoran looked to her arm which was bandaged and hanging in a sling. "I'm sorry to hear that. How's your arm?"
"Painful. Yuui insists on keeping me off the pain medication." Rena muttered unhappily.
"That would be because it's kind of addictive." Syaoran said almost guiltily.
"What? Had problems with it before?" Rena asked curiously.
"It's not easy to come off of after two weeks of being sick in bed." Syaoran said.
"Oh." Rena said dully. She looked to Syaoron who was still sound out, worried. "When do you think he'll wake up?" She asked.
"Honestly I'm not sure. His injuries were pretty severe. Maybe a few days?" He replied.
Rena looked back to her hands, thinking. "A few months back you showed me a dream of his past…why did you do that?" she asked.
"Because I knew that you needed to know at least a little bit of what happened. Sakura doesn't know everything yet, but I intend on telling her." He said.
"Oh, I see…" she said. "Thank you for always being there for her. It means a lot."
"We're married now; I'll do anything for her." He said softly.
Rena smiled, "Yeah, I know. Besides, if you even dare to turn your back on her, you're dead." She warned.
He smiled, "Calm down, that's not going to happen."
"Where is Sakura, anyway?" Rena asked.
"She said she had something to do before she came." He answered.
"Oh…" Rena mumbled disappointedly. She had been hoping that Sakura would come see her when she woke, at least.
Syaoran stood, "I better get moving; I have a few things to sort out. Get well soon." He said with a smile, and then left.
Rena sighed. It was lonely on her own, and she had nothing to do with her spare time, so she leant back into the pillows and fell back to sleep.